Effect of Antiarrhythmic Drug Therapy on the Incidence of Shocks in Patients who Receive an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator after a Single Episode of Sustained Ventricular Tachycardia/Fibrillation

WILLIAM H. KOU, MARVIN M. KIRSH, STEVE F. BOLLING, MACK STIRLING, ALAN H. KADISH, MICHAEL DE BUITLEIR, HUGH CALKINS, RUTH R.R. LEWIS, FRED MORADY

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Abstract

Seventy‐four patients (16 women, 58 men, age 58 ± 21 years, mean ± standard deviation) who received an implantable Cardioverter de/ibrillator (ICD) after experiencing a single episode of ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation were followed to determine if antiarrhythmic drug therapy affects the incidence of ICD discharges. Thirty‐three patients (group A) were treated with an antiarrhythmic drug that was either untested or previously demonstrated during electropharmacological testing to be ineffective in suppressing the induction of ventricular tachycardia. Forty‐one patients (group B) were not treated with an antiarrhythmic drug. There were no significant differences between the two groups in regards to age, sex, incidence of coronary artery disease, left ventricular function or the type of ICD pulse generator used. During a mean follow‐up of 14 months for the entire cohort, 15 patients (46%) in group A and 18 patients (44%) in group B experienced at least one ICD shock. The time to the first appropriate shock (5 ± 5 months in both groups) and the frequency of ICD shocks (0.3 ± 0.2/month in group A vs 0.4 ± 0.5/month in group B) were similar in both groups. The incidence of syncope at the time of ICD discharge was higher in group A than group B patients (31% vs 5%, P < 0.05). In conclusion, antiarrhythmic drugs that are untested or have failed electropharmacological testing do not appear to reduce the probability of ICD discharge over a short‐term (mean 14 months) follow‐up in patients who have had only one clinical episode of VT/VF and may increase the risk of syncope during ICD discharge. Studies with a larger sample size and longer follow‐up period will be needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1586-1592
Number of pages7
JournalPacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Volume14
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1991

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Keywords

  • implantable Cardioverter defibrillator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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